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GLIN==> Open forum on threats to Michigan's water



Mark your calendars for an important event at Central Michigan University on April 19 on the multiple threats to Michigan's water. The following is a news release. Please spread the word about this forum. It's free and open to the public, and we're looking to fill as many seats as possible.

Thanks!

Cynthia Drake

MEDIA CONTACT: Cynthia Drake, (989) 774-7333 March 31, 2005
CONTACT: Bill Ballenger, (517) 487-6665

THREATS TO MICHIGAN’S WATER
THE TOPIC OF NEXT GRIFFIN POLICY FORUM

MOUNT PLEASANT — A diverse panel will slosh through the politics and
threats surrounding the Great Lakes state’s water resources at the
Spring Griffin Policy Forum at Central Michigan University on April 19.

“That Giant Sucking Sound: The Multiple Threats to Michigan’s Water”
will take place from 7:30 to 9 p.m. April 19 in the Bovee University
Center Auditorium. A public reception will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the
Bovee UC Terrace Room.

“Any aspect of the environment in Michigan is appropriate as a subject
matter,” said Bill Ballenger, CMU’s Griffin Endowed Chair in American
Government, who organizes the biannual Griffin Forums.

“We are the Great Lakes State, and for everyone living in Michigan —
especially the political community — water has always had a salience.
It’s always hotly debated in the legislature,” he said.

“The idea that Michigan government possesses not one but two
departments, the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of
Environmental Quality, when the effort elsewhere has been to consolidate
— well, it just shows how deeply people in this state care about the
environment,” he said.

Panelists will be: Wil Cwikiel, program director, Tip of the Mitt
Watershed Council; Mike Johnston, director of regulatory affairs,
Michigan Manufacturers Association; Lana Pollack, president of the
Michigan Environmental Council; and Bill Rustem, president and chief
executive officer of Public Sector Consultants Inc. Dave Poulson,
assistant director of the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism at
Michigan State University, will moderate.

Topics will include perceived encroachment on the quantity of Michigan
water, both in the Great Lakes and inland. The forum also will address a
wide variety of water quality issues, including industrial contamination.

Ballenger said that while Michiganders care about the environment,
sometimes it takes a backseat to issues like jobs, education and the
economy.

“Everyone wants jobs, and the economy ranks very high on any list. But
when you say, ‘Well, you want jobs, but do you care whether the water’s
all polluted, people say, ‘Of course we do.’ Yet in some cases, economic
interests claim we can’t have both,” Ballenger said.

CMU’s Griffin program seeks to build interest and increased engagement
in politics among young adults, faculty and the general citizenry. The
endowment honors Robert and Marjorie Griffin, both distinguished CMU alumni.
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